By Chief Mass Communication Specialist Steve Johnson, Navy Office of Community Outreach Public Affairs
NEW ORLEANS (NNS) -- New Orleans Navy Week 2011 officially got underway with the reading of a proclamation inside city council chambers May 5.
Mark Gorenflo, deputy under secretary of the Navy, is one of the official spokesman during New Orleans Navy Week 2011. During a television interview, Gorenflo described the purpose of New Orleans Navy Week.
"This is an opportunity for the Navy to show how it is working around the world for the people of New Orleans," said Gorenflo. "The Navy is America's away team, ready to fight, ready to respond to global threats anywhere in the world, or to perform humanitarian missions."
President of the New Orleans City Council, Jackie Clarkson, read the proclamation honoring Navy men and women, after the colors were paraded through city hall and Navy musicians performed for spectators.
The Navy Office of Community Outreach (NAVCO), Navy Recruiting District (NRD) New Orleans and Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base (NASJRB) New Orleans have joined forces this week, along with the Navy Blue Angels and Navy Band New Orleans to provide opportunities for citizens to meet Sailors and learn more about the Navy's vast operational capabilities.
New Orleans Navy Week is one of 21 Navy Weeks being held across America in 2011, and is designed to provide local residents an up-close and personal look at the service performed by the men and women of the U.S. Navy.
The week is slated to include the following events: Navy participation in the Nawlin's Air Show, which is expected to attract upwards of 75,000 visitors each day; the U.S. Navy Band New Orleans will perform at several area schools as well as at a variety of free public concerts; Sailors from namesake ships and from local Navy commands will volunteer at projects coordinated by Habitat For Humanity and Beacon of Hope, as well as area high schools.
The week-long schedule of events also includes government, corporate, civic and educational engagements by Navy spokesmen who aim to tell the Navy's role in world affairs.
During New Orleans Navy Week 2011, Rear Adm. Victor G. Guillory, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command, U.S. 4th Fleet will throw out the ceremonial first pitch at the New Orleans Zephyer's baseball game, conduct media interviews throughout the city, speak to members of the Downtown Rotary Club and the New Orleans Urban League, and he will deliver ball caps and good cheer to young patients during a Caps For Kids event in the Children's Ward of the Ochsner Hospital. Guillory will also pay a visit to his alma mater Holy Cross High School.
"New Orleans is at its heart a true Navy town, dating back more than 200 years," said Cmdr. John Filostrat, a native of New Orleans and the officer-in-charge for the Navy Office of Community Outreach during New Orleans Navy Week 2011.
"The local community has embraced the Navy, which is home to a Navy Recruiting District, Naval Air Logistics Office, Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Belle Chasse and the Navy Operational Support Center in Algiers," said Filostrat. "The partnership that exists here remains strong and thriving."
Interactive displays including the Navy Suburban, a Navy-themed media center on wheels equipped with video games, and the Navy Simulator which is a ride that moves in sync with live-action video imagery to give a person the sense and idea of what the Navy is about, will provide additional entertainment during Navy Week events at a variety of locations in and around the New Orleans region.
The last time New Orleans was selected to host a Navy Week was in 2009.